CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – The prescription drug crisis in the Hoosier state is giving state leaders a headache. That's why the Indiana Attorney General is backing a bill to help get unused medications out of the home and disposed of properly.
Indiana House Bill 1121 would allow people to drop off their leftover medications at pharmacies. The goal is to help prevent drug overdose and addiction by simply getting them out of reach.
"The problems are not drug dealers, the problems are really in your own medical cabinets," said Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General.
Zoeller supports the House bill that would allow folks to drop off their unused prescriptions at area pharmacies.
"I think that's going to really help reduce the amount that's available for misuse and abuse that comes right out of the home," said Zoeller.
Zoeller says it's also an opportunity to get the message out that flushing away your prescriptions is not the answer either, with the environmental dangers that could come along with it. It's an idea he hopes pharmacies will also sign onto.
"People can advertise- not only get your prescription drugs, but bring them back here because I think there is a growing awareness of this problem, it's just people tell us they don't know where to bring them," said Zoeller.
The federal government requires law enforcement to be present when these medications are returned, so this bill would allow security officers, that you may already see at some drug stores, do the job.
"Any pharmacy who wants to have a security presence, that will be sufficient to the federal requirement," said Zoeller.
Zoeller says the Hoosier state is ahead of others in proposing solutions to this problem, a problem that the Indiana State Medical Association recognizes, and is working on, so pills don't get in the wrong hands.
"There's no question that youth are abusing them unfortunately, so this is a great way to try to prevent some of that abuse from even starting," said Julie Reed, Indiana State Medical Association.
"It may not be the answer to all the problems, but it is a good first step," said Zoeller.
Currently, some law enforcement agencies already collect old prescription drugs.
The House voted in favor of the bill. Now it goes to the Senate.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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